History 2606E Lecture Notes - Lecture 18: Westernization

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Published on 9 Feb 2014
Department
Lecture – French Occupation of Egypt, Egypt under Muhammad Ali and British
Occupation
The Long 19th Century: Chronology
oNapoleon in Egypt and the French occupation in 1798
oEgypt under Muhammad Ali 1805-1849
oEgypt under the three Pashas of Muhammad Ali’s family line 1849-1882
oBritish occupation of Egypt 1882-1956
Napoleon in Egypt
oReasons for going to Egypt
oAchievements during the French Occupation
oMilitary defeat by Admiral Lord Nelson
Napoleon and the French Invasion
oMay 19, 1798 the Armee D’Orient, some 35,000 men left port of Toulon
Took the island of Malta on June 12 and landed in Egypt on July 1
oCaptured Alexandria on July 2 in what is known as the Battle of the
Pyramids on July 29, 1798, defeating the army some 15km from Cairo
oJuly 25 the French defeated the Ottoman fleet
oAugust 1st the French fleet was destroyed by British Admiral Lord Nelson
in the port of Alexandria
oAugust 25 1799 Napoleon returned to France, secretly helped by the
British
oGeneral Kleber took over and began negotiations with the British about
evacuating the troops by January 24, 1800
oKleber murdered in June and general Menou took over command of the
army
oMarch 21, 1801 the French troops were evacuated back to France by the
British Navy
oEven though the French invasion lasted barely 3 years, the consequences
for the Ottoman Empire, Europe and Egypt were immense
Beginning with Egypt
oFrench introduced reforms
oReforms:
Representative institutions
Napoleon called on the ulama, religious scholars, who he
identified as an element exercising influence on the population to
participate in the rule
Diwan, governing council, composed of 9 sheikhs were chosen
Local councils were formed with a general diwan of 25 members
Reorganization of financial administration
Postal service
Quarantine of ships in ports
Street cleaning and gas lighting
Obstacles
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oIn spire of Napoleon’s attempts to present himself as the liberator of the
Egyptians from the Mamluks, the ulama became the leaders of the
opposition to his rule
oImposition of taxes which were collected by French soldiers and
administrators entering homes, ended in popular revolt
oFirst outburst occurred in October 1798
Call to rise against the non-Muslims was put down by the French
army
Al-Azhar mosque was bombarded, everyone caught with arms was
executed as well as the leaders of the revolt
oAttacks on the French soldiers continued
Several armies were involved: the Mamluks, the real leaders of
Egypt, the Ottoman army units stationed in Egypt, and the
Bedouins
Morale was low and the French soldiers demanded to be returned
to France
oFebruary 1799: Napoleon began a campaign towards Istanbul
Attempt to intimidate the Ottomans who saw him as an enemy of
the Empire
Began march towards Palestine but he was stopped by the plague
that devastated his army
June 1799 Napoleon had to return to Cairo, August 24, 1799 he left
for France and became the Emperor
Second Revolt in Cairo succeeds somewhat
Better organized and had help from Ottomans
Egyptian defeat
1801: combined force of Ottomans and British armies defeated the
French to surrender
September 1801: returned to France
What were the reasons for the French invasion of Egypt
oFirst of the colonial wars in the Middle East
oDuring 18th century Egypt appeared as the province most likely to liberate
itself from the Ottomans
Napoleon’s invasion could be seen as a catalyst of the process
oFrench consul in Egypt advised Paris about an occupation well before
Napoleon came up with the idea
oNapoleon had other reasons: dislocation of British interests in the Red Sea
and continue towards India
oIdeology also played a role: it was the era of the French Revolution and
the Egyptian campaign was presented as liberation of the Egyptian people
from under the rue of the tyrannical rule of the Turkish Mamluks
Achievements
oStudies conducted by the scientists included in the French expedition
produced the first scientific reports of Egypt’s past
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oIt was recognized in Europe as the world’s ancient and important
civilization
oIn spite of its failure, the French invasion had a long lasting impact: it
exposed the colonial, or imperial interest in the Middle East for the first
time
oPlayed a role in showing the weakness of the local rulers, the Ottomans
and the Mamluks
oIt produced a change in the social order
oEven if the population resented the occupation, they were exposed to new
ideas
Introduced to modern hospitals, schools, theatres, newspapers,
factories and a printing press
oNew scientific experiments took place in public and impressed the crowds
oThe talk equality, freedom and dignity of man
Ottomans
oOttomans humiliated by the attack
oFrance was their best ally and friend against Russia and Britain
oMost of the reforms in the Ottomans Empire were carried out by the
French, who introduced French institutions, French in the army, in the
judicial system and dress
oFor the Egyptians their first contact with Europeans was made in the name
of secularization
oFirst glimpse of the Western strength manifested the importance of
Westernization
oInitiation of local representation manifested the lack of leadership and
political institutions in the country
Analysis
oLong Ottoman rule proved disadvantageous to the development of
Egyptian society and institutions
oWhen they occupied Egypt, the Ottomans put an end to the rule of the
Mamluks and instead allowed the formation of competitive groups which
targeted the revenue of the country and competed with each other over
control of this income
oOttoman viceroy, or governor, the Janissaries were confronted by the
Mamluks, who strengthened their power over the years
oMid-18th century, the Beys, the local power elite, became aware of the
difficulties of the Ottomans, and consolidated their rule in Egypt
oRefused to pay taxes and coined their own money
French and English agents signed with them treaties for trade
oEconomic disruption and decline were accelerated
British Interests in Middle East
oBritish policy makers became aware of the strategic importance of Egypt
as a result of the French invasion
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